BlogNovember 2021

How Does Drone Fishing Work?

How Does Drone Fishing Work?

By Andy Whitcomb

Nov 01, 2021

Drone fishing might help you reach beyond casting distance. Read what youu need to know about drone fishing so you can try it on your next fishing outing!

These small, radio controlled flying crafts are fairly common these days. Usually, drones are used to take pictures or video, providing a unique, bird’s eye perspective of sporting events and such. Drone fishing is another wacky way these devices can be used.


So, how does drone fishing work? A drone fishing rig is similar to a rig used for kite or balloon fishing, except here small bait is carried and strategically dropped in the water by the use of a drone fishing release clip. Often this distance far exceeds casting distances such as with drone surf fishing.


Is drone fishing legal? Yes, as long as you are just using it to drop the bait or lure. But according to the FAA website, it looks like any drone should be registered, labeled and there is a safety test for operators before surf fishing or any fishing. Oh, and of course you still need a current fishing license.


As crazy as it sounds, there have been places where I did not have a boat and the fish were out of casting distance. It might also be useful for scouting too. But while still on the learning curve for how does drone fishing work, there is always the risk of losing the expensive machine in the drink.


Allegheny River fisherman, Paul Murray, even caught one a couple of years ago, giving new meaning to “drone fishing.” He hooked it with a jig but the thing flipped off near the boat. Using his anchor line, he was able to retrieve it. “Someone must have gotten too close to the bridge,” he shared. “I’ve been trying, but haven’t caught another since.” (Note when drone fishing: fish like structure, drones don’t. So, take great precautions to keep them out of our water resources.)

Andy Whitcomb
Andy Whitcomb
Andy is an outdoor writer ( and stressed-out Dad has contributed over 380 blogs to since 2011. Born in Florida, but raised on banks of Oklahoma farm ponds, he now chases pike, smallmouth bass, and steelhead in Pennsylvania. After earning a B.S. in Zoology from OSU, he worked in fish hatcheries and as a fisheries research technician at OSU, Iowa State, and Michigan State.